Carol Hopkins was born in Canada and, as a young girl, immigrated to the United States. Her passionate dreams revolve around writing and art. Carol has 30 years’ experience in horticulture. She successfully owned two stores, managed a greenhouse and a floral operation. Motivated to change careers, she retired from Central Michigan University as a Senior Groundskeeper to pursue a career in nursing. Currently retired from the medical field, she now pursues her exciting passion for art and writing. She is a published author of several books and illustrator of her latest project “The Little Gardeners” series for children. She is guided by the premise that “The day one stops learning is the day one stops living.” Her enthusiasm is pleasantly contagious and she loves to share it with children.
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A Story Behind the Story
I have a long history in gardening. As a young child, my father was a strawberry farmer and I loved to garden with him. Later years I opened a floral shop and greenhouse growing annuals with a large cut garden out back of every flower you could imagine. People loved to come pick their flowers out for a smashing bouquet. I had a flower truck with all the fresh cut flowers picked daily that would drive around the rich part of town ringing a bell like the ice cream truck was coming except adults would run out to greet it. After selling my business I was hired by a few companies as a landscape designer then went on to work as a Senior Groundskeeper at Central Michigan University from there on to Nursing. At this time, I was 48 thinking a career change would be nice as the physical part of my job was starting to take a toll on my body, but going to college was a game changer for me at that age.
After graduation and working as a nurse, I became ill and a near-death experience crushed my nursing career as memory loss and depression took a toll on me. My husband also a nurse decided we needed to travel and show me what beauty our country had to offer. Over those six years of traveling from hospital to hospital, I enjoyed the beauty through my eyes and held those pictures in my mind to paint someday. He had thirteen-week assignments so we moved around a lot so I never had the inspiration to paint being so unsettled.
We found a permanent place finally and it had a storage shed that was perfect to set up a little area to paint. Oil paint smells so bad so this was perfect. I painted several pictures until we had to move once again for my husband’s job.